Written by: Steve Stover
Date: August 13, 2017

Tourists flocked to the Glass Bowl Restaurant on Main Street in Bexley because of its unusual building design that featured an inverted champagne goblet. The hamburger stand was open from 1938-1968.

Tourists flocked to the Glass Bowl Restaurant on Main Street in Bexley because of its unusual building design that featured an inverted champagne goblet. The hamburger stand was open from 1938-1968.

The Columbus’ restaurant scene has changed dramatically over the course of a generation.

In celebration, we look back at some of the restaurants that have stood the test of time and others that are standout fondly in our memories.

If you have any favorites that can be added to this list, share in the comments below and we will update the listing.

Restaurants that are still around after 25 years.

Still Cookin’ After All These Years
Restaurants at least 25 years old, thanks to Doug Motz

The Blue Danube in Old North Columbus has been open since 1940. Photo: Kinsworthy.1/Wikimedia Commons

  • 94th Aero Squadron
  • Aki Hana (formerly known as Restaurant Japan)
  • Anthony Thomas
  • Apollo’s
  • Auddino’s Bakery
  • Block’s Bagels
  • The Blue Danube (since 1940)
  • Buckeye Donuts
  • Buxton Inn (Granville)
  • Ding Ho
  • Garcia’s
  • German Village Coffee Shop
  • Grandview Cafe
  • Grill & Skillet
  • Hey Hey Bar & Grill
  • Hickory House
  • Ho Toy (since 1959)
  • Hyde Park Upper Arlington (since 1988)
  • Japanese Oriental Restaurant
  • Johnson’s Ice Cream
  • Jurgens German Bakery & Restaurant
  • La Scala
  • Katzinger’s
  • Knotty Pine (It recently reopened)
  • Krema Nut Company
  • Lindey’s (preceded by Palmer Haus and Lindenhoff)
  • Mama’s Pasta & Brew
  • Massey’s Pizza
  • Max & Erma’s
  • Nancy’s
  • North Market
  • Old Mohawk
  • Phillips Coney Island
  • Plank’s
  • Red Door Tavern
  • The Refectory
  • Resch’s Bakery (made the rolls for Reeb’s)
  • Ringside (formerly know as Clem’s Ringside)
  • Rotolo’s Pizza
  • Rubino’s Pizza
  • Schmidt’s Sausage Haus
  • Spagio (formerly know as Gourmet Market)
  • Sun Tong Luck
  • Taj Mahal
  • TAT Ristorante di Famiglia
  • Thurman Cafe
  • Thurns’s Meats (since 1886)
  • Tommy’s Diner (preceded by Ater’s Drive In)
  • Tommy’s Pizza
  • Tony’s Ristorante
  • The Top Steakhouse (Sonia Modes is still there on the piano)
  • Varsity Club
  • Wendy’s
  • White Castle (nearly 100 years old)
  • Windward Passage
  • Wing’s
  • The Worthington Inn
  • Yoho’s
  • York Steakhouse

Historic Columbus Restaurants that are no longer in business

Downtown & Short North

The Florentine neon restaurant sign in Columbus.

The Florentine served classical Italian meals on West Broad Street in Franklinton from 1945-2016. Photo: R. Gust Smith/Flickr.

  • 5 on the Boulevard
  • L’Armagnac
  • Benny Klein’s (night club atmosphere; belly dancers)
  • Bermuda Onion Deli
  • Betty’s Fine Food & Spirits (2001 – 2014)
  • Burgundy Room
  • Christopher Inn (strawberry salad)(Bob Allen Trio)
  • The Clock (“in the middle of the block”)
  • Court of Small Clams
  • Crystal Room at the Pick Fort Hayes
  • Deep Wood
  • The Dell on Parson’s Avenue
  • Doersam’s
  • Dragonfly and later Till dynamic Fare, Izzy & Mo’s Deli
  • The Florentine
  • Forester’s (now the home of diNovo, opened in 1875)
  • The Four Seasons at the former Sheraton downtown
  • Isabella’s at the Christopher Inn (featuring the strawberry salad and the Bob Allen Trio)
  • Jack & Benny’s (restaurant by the same name is now at Hudson and High streets)
  • Jong Mea
  • The Jury Room
  • K2U
  • Kuenning’s
  • Lazarus
    • Chintz Room
    • Colonial Room
  • L’Antibes
  • The Mansion (in the former Governor’s Mansion)
  • Maramor (1920-1972)
  • Marble Gang on Mt. Vernon Avenue
  • Mario’s internationale in the Galleria
  • Marzetti’s (Opened in 1186, Who can forget the jingle?)
  • Matreoshka Russian Tea Room
  • Max’s
  • Mills Cafeteria (1911-1976)
  • Neil House – Red Lion and Main Dining Room
  • One Nation (atop Nationwide)
  • O’Shaughnessy’s Public House
  • Out on Main (later David’s on Main, Brownstone)
  • Paoletti’s Restaurant (1922-1972, Aldo Paoletti is still alive)
  • Peppercorn Duck Club (featuring its chocolate bar), Hyatt Regency
  • Pewter Mug
  • QCB, 7 S. High St (1918-1964)
  • Queen Bee, 248 S Fourth St (1949-2009)
  • Rigsby’s Kirchen (also known as Rigsby’s Cuisine Volatile)
  • RJ Snapper’s
  • Rosendales
  • Seafood Bay Steak & Lobster House (Bing Crosby dined here)
  • 16 East
  • Strada World Cuisine
  • Tapatio (featuring Bruce Hildreth, Hartley Cousen’s bread)
  • Tommy Hendrich Steakhouse (1961-68)
  • Top of The Center
  • University Club (sweet rolls)
  • The Vault
  • Water Works
  • Yong Mea

German Village & Brewery District

The Clarmont restaurant on South High Street in the Brewery District served many of the city’s power brokers during its 65 years in business. The eatery closed its doors in 2012. Photo: R. Gust Smith/Flickr.

  • Bavaria Haus
  • Burgermeister Wien Haus
  • Carolyn’s
  • The Clarmont
  • Deibel’s (Esther Craw on accordion, Cap City Jazz Band, Gene D’Angelo, now Barcelona)
  • Engine House #5
  • 489 City Park
  • Handke’s Cuisine
  • Hoster Brewing
  • Inner Circle
  • The Place Upstairs (also know as Jimmy’s Place Upstairs), Earl Bradley
  • Maennerchor (Recently reopened as Valter’s at the Maennerchor)
  • Reeb’s (roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy, Resch’s rolls, turtle soup)
  • Scheherazade Night Club (in the South End featured belly dancers)

Tri Village Area
Grandview Heights, Upper Arlington, Marble Cliff

  • Aspen Inn (Bob Knapp)
  • Baby Doe’s
  • The Bistro (near Gold Circle/Kohl’s Olentangy was also home to Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Thelma Camacho)
  • Coco’s (white glove service at Third Ave & Northwest Blvd)
  • Cork & Cleaver
  • Del Matto’s
  • The Explorers
  • First Amendment
  • The Gaslight (Bob Knapp)
  • Geem Loong
  • The Gloria (spaghetti & meatballs, The Ravens played there)
  • Gottlieb’s
  • Grandview Inn
  • Gus’
  • Jack Bowman’s Suburban
  • Le Cafe
  • Peasant on the Lane
  • Presutti’s Villa
  • Red Bull Inn (on Henderson Road, featured the lobster pot)
  • Romeo’s Pizza
  • Stu Harrison’s (famous for their burgers)
  • Turkey Trot (turkey restaurant on Riverside, open one day, closed due to food poisoning)
  • Wilhelm’s
  • Ziggy’s Continental

University District

  • a la carte
  • Casa di Pasta (Stella Chapin)
  • Char Bar (there is a place by the same name across from the Hyatt Regency)
  • Charbert’s
  • The Circle
  • Damon’s
  • Hennick’s
  • The Huddle
  • Jai Lai (a Woody Hayes favorite with prime rib, Cesta salad, salt rolls, herb butter)
  • Matter of Taste (Lisa Galat)
  • Seva Longevity Cookery
  • Seva (is now in Ann Arbor and Detroit)
  • Talita’s Mexican
  • Tiffany’s

North Columbus

  • Ann-Ton’s (now Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza)
  • Fisherman’s Wharf (closed recently, featured “Captain Nikky”)
  • Fontanelle (Graceland)
  • Galantine’s (Westerville, successor of L’Armagnac and L’Antibes)
  • Knight’s Ice Cream
  • Riccardo’s (Oakland Park)
  • Riccardi’s Pizaa (a Watterson hangout)
  • Shelton’s
  • Stan’s
  • Suite 61
  • Tamarack
  • Victoria Station
  • Warren’s Sandwich Shop
  • Wine Cellar
  • Wyandotte Inn (near the zoo)

East Columbus

postcard from the Kahiki Supper Club

The Kahiki Supper Club restaurant will rise again, if only for one night.
The Kahiki Supper Club was a Columbus dining destination, serving polynesian food. The Kahiki was open from 1961 to 2000.

  • Bexley’s Monk (also known as Blind Monk)
  • Butch’s
  • Bryn Mawr (famous for brunch)
  • Desert Inn
  • Emil’s Steer In Drive In
  • Glass Bowl
  • Granville Inn (recently re-opened after major renovation)
  • Ilonka’s
  • Jong Mei
  • The Kahiki
  • Kuenning’s Suburban
  • Lum’s Hamilton Road
  • The Playboy Club
  • Toddle House
  • Willard’s

West Columbus

  • Biltmore Cafe
  • The Everglades
  • Lincoln Lodge
  • Patton’s
  • Salvi’s, (also know as BG Salvi’s – was near Hilliard Rome Road and then last seen near state Route 161 and Frantz Road in Dublin)

Other favorites that are no longer with us

  • Jerry’s Drive In
  • Big Bev Diner
  • BBF (also known as Burger Boy Food-O-Rama)
  • GD Ritzy’s (slated to be coming back in 2017)
  • Sandy’s

Dancing, Bars, & Dives

  • The Bistro (Kenny Rogers & the First Edition, with Thelma Camacho)
  • Carolyn Club (Rusty Bryant)
  • The Gloria (Ravens)
  • Kitty’s Show Bar
  • Penguin Club (Nu Trons, Ravens)
  • Scioto Trails
  • Travel Agency (Majestics)
  • Valley Dale Ballroom

Miscellaneous – Where were these located?
If you know, leave a comment below.

  • Antone’s
  • Columbus Steakhouse
  • Gourmet Room
  • Silent Woman
  • Vera’s Europe

  • shrimlock

    The Silent Woman Bar was i believe on East Main, just east of James.
    The signage in neon or lit up from behind maybe, was extremely provocative.
    It showed an image of a female with her, holding her own head or her head somehow detached.
    Depicting the female as presumably silent. And even holding the knife?
    pretty grisly, and disturbing and was evident to anyone driving around there up till the 90’s, it seems.

    • Sara Davis

      Not quite, the Silent Woman was located a couple blocks East of Yearling Rd, the sign depicted a maiden type female form holding a couple of steins, she had no head. There was no severed head, no knife. The same sign has been there for over 40 yrs now (per my last trip to ohio)

    • does anyone have a copy of the menu or pictures

    • Richard Ramsay

      i remember a big neon sign of a woman without a head (not gory or anything) holding up a frying pan in her left hand. drank in there a few times.

      • Richard Ramsay

        can’t find any pictures of that sign yet

  • shrimlock

    The other one that was near the Motel Greg Lashutka got in trouble win he was prosecutor, And i think that was on East Broad, that was the Pink Elephant.

  • Barbara Cruz

    what about hanleys steak house sullivant ave Columbus ohio

  • Barbara Cruz

    does anyone have a copy of the menu or pictures

  • Mr.Gale.B

    I need an exact and correct answer:
    Where was “Top of the Center” located? In WHAT building?

  • Otto Gronkowski

    Slow hipster service and slow kitchen. Expensive prices. Don’t visit if you want to see food on your table in under 45 minutes. However the food quality, taste and presentation is very good! Ambiance is contemporary cool inside, very different from what you may have the impression of from the exterior of this old Tim Horton’s location. Good bar and drink selection. Overpriced menu. On the west coast you can find this style of filipino restaurant serving same dishes for $7.50. Here they will set you back $12-$18. You can’t even get into appetizers for less than $10 unless you want a bowl of rice. Don’t know if they’ll survive, table turnover is way too slow, even though they’re making large profit margin per dish, it’s just way too slow. If you have an evening to kill, this would be a good hangout. Don’t attempt a weekday lunch or dinner. You’ll see a good hipster millinial crowd here.

    • lettuce dolphin

      hello, I have worked at a Bibibop for 2 years now, the price for a chicken (spicy or regular) bowl currently is 6.75$, steak bowl is 7.25$, and a tofu bowl is 6.65$. Along with that the appetizers are 1$ for pineapple, 1.50$ for edamame and kimchi. Also drinks are 1.75$ but come out to 1.88$ after tax.
      A chicken bowl with a drink is 9.14$ if you eat in and 8.63$ if you take it to go.
      Also the service is incredibly fast, if there is no line we can usually get someone to make an entire bowl in about 1-2 minutes. The only time service is slow is when there is a rush, around 11am-1pm and 5pm-7pm, and even slow is an understatement, once you get to the line it usually takes about 2 1/2 – 3 minutes to get through. Also the line length and time depends on the store, i have worked at several Bibibop’s and some attract a larger crowd than others. The most visited age demographic in my opinion is about 20-25 and 40-50.

      The reason i started working at a Bibibop is because of the low prices for such a delicious and large amount of food, the bowls are about the size of two softballs, i do not know how many fluid ounces off hand though, i believe around 48 fluid ounces.
      If you have any other questions or anything about Bibibop i got you, i’m not being paid to do this, i just came across it while on the internet and saw a lot of inflated prices and felt like sharing the exact price.

      I hope you all have a great day, Take care always!

      • lettuce dolphin

        Also a lot of the prices on the op post are not correct and we do not carry some items anymore, such as the Pellegrino.

        Take care always!

      • Otto Gronkowski

        Bibbiop is nice KoreanAmerican hybrid chain started by Charlie, of Charlie’s Steakery (He’s Korean). My comment was about Bonifacio PhillipinoAmerican restaurant near Grandview

  • Laurie Wickline

    Didn’t see Milanos. Used to go there all the time! Loved the lasagna!!!

  • Denise Lafferty

    Bill Knapps

    • Jim Early

      looks like they closed in 2001:
      Bill Knapps 2100 Bethel Road Columbus
      Bill Knapps 6851 N High St Worthington
      Bill Knapps 2199 Riverside Dr Columbus
      Bill Knapps 12995 Stonecreek Dr Pickerington

  • Carol Francis

    Knights Ice Cream has been closed since 2015!

  • Judith Swanson

    I have a few random comments. There was a restaurant in the early 80’s on Main (downtown) called Numbers which was run by Steven Bimbo (King of the Gypsies). Siam (both the original restaurant on Bethel and a branch in German Village (where Bavaria House used to be). John’s Village Junction on High in German Village. Many restaurants opened and closed in Brewery District. Butchie’s (east) had a couple of other names which were more Italian sounding. Columbus Steak House was in a shopping center at east of 71 on 161. We went there a lot in the 1980’s.

    • Butches started out as a Dog N Suds in the 1960’s then was Joseppi’s for a number of years, then Armondo’s for a while then Butches

    • Dean Congin

      Loved Siam. I lived at Olentangy Commons and ate there all the time. You’re right about Brewery Dist, lots of turnover in Brewery District. I used to play in a popular 80s band and we would play most of the German Village bars. Good times.

  • Sara Davis

    The Silent Woman was locared on Main St in Whitehall, a couple blocks East of Yearling Rd

  • Sandy B

    This is one of my favorite restaurants and I always recommend it to friends who want good seafood, but don’t want to take out a loan to get it. The service is terrific, the food is great, the prices are beyond reasonable, and parking is easy. I do wish the Gaslight were still at the other end of this shopping center!

    • Pamela Sam Edwards

      I went there for my senior prom. First fancy restaurant I had ever been to. Great food bad date.

  • Ben Huntoon

    How about Shakey’s Pizza in Whitehall. Don’s Drive-In in Reynoldsburg.

    • Central Ohio Locations: Grandview, Upper Arlington, Polaris, Easton and East Broad.

    • Tina Frank

      There was also Longhorn Steakhouse and Long Branch bar both in Reynoldburg. Longhorn had to change their name to The cattle Club when The Longhorn chain came to Columbus. Don’t see any mention of Del Monto’s on E Main Street in Whitehall

  • Lynne Groban

    There used to be a restaurant on E. Main Street next to Norwood’s amusement park . The neon sign showed a chicken. It was on the west side of the amusement park toward Nelson Rd. Does anyone remember the name of the restaurant and was it any good?

    Also, there was the Berwick Grill on College Avenue.

  • Mike Poliseno

    Pete’s Red Pig at Hamilton and Main or Emils

  • Dean Congin

    Farrell’s Ice Cream, Cadillac Cafe, Rockys

  • Galata Mediterranean Cuisine

    In NYC, for Turkish food, you should visit Galata. Here you can get a modern selection of most popular and most loved dishes of Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine as well as the mouth watering desserts.

  • Teri Gallagan-Horning

    There was a place on the West side called Sir Loin that served…well…sirloin steak dinners. There was also a place called the Fireside Inn that was owned by Bob Marvin (a.k.a. Flippo the Clown) that was also on the West side.

  • ubu62001

    Cockerells in Westerville.

  • The Silent woman was a bar in Whitehall on E Main between Hamilton and Yearling, South side of the street.

  • Pamela Sam Edwards

    Anyone remember a restaurant on either morse road or 161. It was an Italian restaurant and on the weekends there was Donna Marie on the piano. My husband and I were in our mid 20’s and the rest of the clientele were, let’s say seniors. They were all dressed up and dancing to the music. What a fun place to have dinner.
    I think it was called Lombardi’s.

    • Kevin O’Grady


  • Cindi Clark-Gillotte

    Fabulous food here and good people!!!!! Mouth watering delicious hummus!!! Yum Yum.

  • Judy Edmister Gaines

    Does anyone remember YEARLING ROAD PIZZA from 1960’s?? It was really one of the best small pizza places for Whitehall /Columbus ….. miss their pizzas but their Subs were … just SOOOO GOOOOD!!!

  • Lynne Groban

    Thanks for the tip and for researchimg the restaurant. Have a lovely day.

  • Otto Gronkowski

    Bonifacio at intersection of King and North Star rd

  • John Dipangrazio

    Clyde’s Restaurant opened in 1976. It was located near the corner of High St. and Fulton St. near German Village. The downstairs was a bar with live New Orleans Jazz, and the upstairs dining room had a French menu including crepes. It was the same ownership that had previously opened Le Cafe (at the Colony Bazaar) in 1974. Outstanding food and service. The building has since been torn down, and Franklin County Child Support building is located there.

  • Jim G

    Does anyone remember the drive-thru hamburger place at Oxley and 5th Avenue in Grandview Heights? It’s now a Starbucks. Used to serve chocolate shakes made with Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

    • Reader

      Took me a minute but I think it was called Daddy-Os?!?

  • Andy Beal

    Trying to remember two different places…one was a disco club that was located between the Friday’s and Max & Erma’s at Henderson and Kenny Rd. Would have been in business mid-70’s to early 80’s. A friend thought it might have been called Whispers.The second was located in Hilliard called the Cloisters. Any memories of either place?

  • Donald Still

    restaurant at columbus square was a Jimmy Dean’s and Bob Evans and was also a family type restaurant good home cooking?

  • Lori Smith

    The Peter Pan Drive In in Whitehall on East Broad St?

  • cinda

    Souder’s restaurant on 4th st? north of Mound, family owned and run- 1950’s

  • A Elizabeth Blankenship

    Does anyone remember the name of the dinner theater way out on route 40, I think, in the 80’s that featured stars of the past? It went belly up unexpectedly when we had tickets to see Patrick Wayne in a play and even he was left at the last minute without pay. I had been there before that and liked it, don’t know why it could not make it.

    • Steve S

      I can’t remember the name of the place, but recall going there to see a show starring John Davidson, who my mother loved. I left Columbus in 1976, so it had to have been before then.

    • Dean Congin

      It may have been called The Desert Inn. I think it closed around 1984.

  • Lori Smith

    What about the Peter Pan Drive In on East Broad St in Whitehall?

  • Lori Smith

    How about the Beverly on E. Livingston? My grandma used to work there. My dad loved their burgers.

  • Ian Sherman

    There was, of course:
    • The Ground Round, on North High in Clintonville (just across the street from Graceland) and on 161 near Cleveland Avenue (on the outskirts of Columbus Square)—featuring Bingo the Clown and his balloon animals, plus cartoons, kid-oriented music videos and the like playing on the big screen, as well as popcorn to chill out with…
    • Taste of China, in Graceland—Dad and I frequented the place just up until I started high school…
    • Stan’s Restaurant, at the corner of Morse and Westerville Roads—Dad loved their haddock sandwiches…
    • the buffet area of Sher-E-Punjab, in Kenny Centre—another standby for me and Dad during my high school years…
    • Thai Taste, also in Kenny Centre—what I wouldn’t give to have their Phuket Chicken again…
    • Flakey Jake’s, on 161 near Karl Road—Dad especially was crazy about their lemon pepper chicken sandwiches…
    • Sapporo Wind Japanese Restaurant, on Cleveland Avenue in Exchange Plaza—I was introduced to tonkatsu there, and that got me interested in Japanese cuisine (for real)…
    • Max & Erma’s, on Kenny Road; in the Convention Center and at Easton Town Center—the first location stands head and shoulders above the rest because of the arcade on the lower level (featuring such greats like The Simpsons, S.T.U.N. Runner, X-Men, Steel Gunner 2, Red & Ted’s RoadShow, etc.), not to mention the sundae bathtub bar and occasional Sunday brunch buffet…
    • Ryan’s, on Cleveland Avenue in Northland and 161 in Dublin—Dad and I had lunch there a lot too, back when I was still in grade school…
    • The Elephant Bar, also on 161; at the corner of North Meadows Boulevard—we had dinner with some friends of my parents, and the bathroom especially stood out with its elephant motif (trunk-shaped faucets and everything)…
    • Otani Japanese Restaurant, on Roche Drive—this was during my grandparents (from Dad’s side of the family) came for a visit once. I wasn’t too keen on Japanese cuisine yet, and apparently my folks weren’t too impressed either…
    • Talita’s Mexican Restaurant, also in Clintonville; on North High between West Tulane and West Kelso Roads—I started with baby nachos, then graduated to chicken tacos (and who could forget that big “Qik-Pro-Tel” TV up in the corner of the room, showcasing daily restaurant specials and local businesses?)…
    • Noble House Chinese Restaurant, on Indianola Avenue near Cooke Road—my taste for Chinese hadn’t come into play yet either, though…
    • Knight’s Ice Cream, also on Indianola Avenue—Mom favored this during her recovery after I’d been born
    • the food court at Lane Avenue Shopping Center—first Willy’s Coneys, then Burger King, then Italian Delights, then Great Steak and Potato: what a way to spend Saturday night!…
    • Cantina Del Rio, at Crosswoods—Bob Evans’ take on food south of the border…
    • 55 Grille, on Bethel Road, near Kenny/Godown Roads—another brunch or evening-meal locale nothing shy of “un touche d’elegance”…
    • The Cooker, on West Lane Avenue in front of the old Holiday Inn and on Morse Morse Road in Easton Square—all the goodness of “Cheers”, without the sitcom drama…
    • Ashley’s, AT that same Holiday Inn—can’t go wrong with the occasional buffet for family brunch…
    • Friendly’s, on 161 in Northland, on West 5th Avenue in Grandview and on North State Street in Westerville—”great food and ice cream” indeed (did they really HAVE to exit the Columbus market that soon??)…
    • Hot Sam, in the Northland Mall—their soft pretzels trumped all else…
    • the first-ever Wendy’s, on Broad Street across from the old COSI—with displays of everything that made the chain what it is today.

    Yes sir, what a time to be a Central Ohioan… and one with an ever-growing appetite, at that!

  • Lenny Doyle

    The Silent Woman was on East Main st. in whitehall just east of yearling

  • Kathleen Chef

    Silent Woman was in Whitehall I think. I remember going there with my mom and dad when I was real little. It had peanut shells on the floor I think.